Qld surgeon faces sanctions

Dr William Joseph Fitzgerald admitted to unsatisfactory professional conduct over his postoperative treatment of the patient in January 2009 at the Mater Hospital in Mackay.

Dr Fitzgerald performed the laparotomy with adhesiolysis and a right ovarian cystectomy on 5 January, also identifying and repairing two small perforations of the duodenum.

After the patient’s condition began to decline on 9 January, Dr Fitzgerald noted his suspicion of peritonitis and ordered a CT scan, according to evidence before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

On 10 January, a nurse recorded the patient and her husband wanted a physician to be consulted.

Based on the scan and her clinical condition, however, Dr Fitzgerald advised the couple that the woman may have peritonitis but it was slowly resolving. 

Nevertheless, the husband